Dog mailed voter registration form

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, October 23, 2008

Well, the Democratic Party has finally gone to the dogs.

At least, that’s the way it appears and, for Captain Chito of the Hamilton Crossroads community, it’s a laughing matter.

On Oct. 10, the Alabama Democratic Party sent a letter to Chito offering him congratulations for taking the first step in the voter registration process.

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Chito was advised to simply fill out the attached voter registration form, being certain to fully answer each question. Chito’s signature was also needed to ensure “expedient processing.”

In the letter, signed by Joe Turnham, chairman, Alabama Democratic Party, Chito was told that, after the form was processed, he would receive a voter registration card in the mail with instructions and details regarding his voting location.

“See you at the polls on November 4th,” Turnham “sincerely” said.

Well, if Captain Chito shows up at the polls on Nov. 4 expecting to vote, nobody is going to be more surprised than the chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party. You see, Captain Chito is a dog.

And, he’s not even a yellow dog Democrat.

Captain Chito is a registered AKC Champion “Bichon Frise” dog.

“I’ve never been so surprised or so amused as I was when Chito received a State of Alabama Mail-in Voter Registration Form,” said June Arn, Chito’s owner. “The form already had his name – last and first – Chito Captain, and ‘his’ address typed in. Of course, Chito had to sign and date the form. I thought that maybe I should put his paw print on it and send it back.”

Arn said she has no idea how Chito’s name was chosen for his “voice to be heard and his opinion to count.”

“Captain Chito was named after a boat Captain that is a billfish guide at the Pinas Bay Lodge, Panama, Panama,” Arn said. “He was a show dog that completed his American Kennel Club Championship. At one time, ‘Chito’s Café’ at Hamilton Crossroads was named after him.

“Chito is quite a dog, but a voter?

“If Chito qualifies as a voter, I think we could sign up a lot of voters.”

Chito has yet to take the important first step to become a registered voter but, if he puts his paw on the dotted line, Arn said she would like to see the faces of those who are charged with expediting the process.